In its training agreement, the government set itself the objective of achieving an ambitious modal shift. Active mobility and cycling in particular play a central role in this process. This Friday, the Council of Ministers approved an ambitious Action Plan for the promotion of cycling: BE CYCLIST. The various ministers and secretaries of state propose concrete actions to promote cycling. BE CYCLIST is coordinated by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet.
“If more and more people are cycling, it is first and foremost good for our economy, because the cost of traffic jams is very high and this is an economic sector that is not at risk. to neglect. Cycling is also positive for physical health and mental well-being: cycling makes you happy and constitutes true freedom. And, of course, cycling has a positive impact on our climate, as an alternative to means of transport using fossil fuels. I am therefore delighted with the ambitious BE CYCLIST plan in which all my fellow ministers and State Secretaries are mobilizing, ”said Minister Gilkinet.
In total, 52 measures have been brought together and structured to form a 2021-2024 plan. This plan will be evaluated once a year, in September. On this occasion, new measures may be included. A final assessment report will accompany the last assessment in 2023. The objective is to stimulate daily travel by bicycle, considered a valid and functional mode of travel.
The plan is based on three axes: facilitating its convenient access, making the road safer and making the bike option obvious and normal.
For the first axis, we can cite a few measures that will be implemented: study the creation of a central bicycle register to step up the fight against theft, review the Highway Code, provide bicycle leasing via a flexible salary within the civil service and study an optimization of the bicycle allowance for home-work journeys in Belgium.
Regarding the infrastructure axis intended to offer more safety or comfort, we should note the improvement of the bicycle and train combination by the SNCB, the implementation of actions concerning the driving and parking behavior of the operators of packages and better integration of the bicycle dimension in buildings managed by the Régie des Bâtiments. It is also a question of facilitating the development of cycle routes along the rails.
The third and final axis plans in particular to stimulate and facilitate the use of police service bicycles, to make parcel deliveries more sustainable and to encourage professional travel by bicycle within the public service.
“The mobilization and imagination of members of the Federal Government and representatives of their administration are added to the numerous initiatives already taken by the Regions to promote the bicycle as a means of transport. The Covid period was also an opportunity for many Belgians to discover or rediscover the usefulness and interest of this mode of travel. Their number increased by 64% between 2019 and 2020. It is important to supplement this natural dynamic with increased support from the public authorities for daily and occasional cyclists, because it is positive at all levels. Long live the bike! », Concludes the Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet.